Anxiety wasn’t recognised widely, until 1980 and then only received a generic diagnosis of ‘stress’ or ‘nerves’. There were no understanding of the disorders by the health professionals during that period, but now, it is deemed to be one of the most common psychiatric disorders. They are now reporting that anxiety is a modern epidemic significant enough to challenge the dominance of depression as the most common mental health problem.

Fight or flight system response

However, we are now under threat from a pandemic, and, understandably, people will feel afraid. This perpetual fear will affect us on an emotional and physical level.

There are many reports concerning the mental health crisis at the moment, and people worldwide were forced into isolation causing Anxiety, Depression, Trauma and Stress by the pandemic of COVID-19, United Nations health experts disclosed.

The isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil — they all-cause or could cause psychological distress,” said Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mental health department.

Anxiety is when you get that nervousness (and all related fight/flight symptoms) Your head is full of worry and concern when there is no fear. The misconception that anxiety disorder is a sort of social fear is utterly untrue because fear is an emotion displayed in the face of something perceived as a threat. In contrast, anxiety is a feeling of unease in specific situations.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

In addition to generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and phobia’s also fall under the category of anxiety disorders.

Stress or anxiety

They may challenge, improve your attention and problem-solving, motivate you to work harder toward a goal or warn you about a potential threat.

For example, anxiety about an upcoming exam will likely drive you to prepare thoroughly. Therefore, some positive anxiety is helpful and necessary to motivate and focus us on taking action.

Pre-existing (Negative) anxiety disorder

Anxiety disorders:

Panic attacks:

Panic disorder:

Anxiety disorders:

What kind of anxiety do you have?

A checklist of common symptoms

A churning feeling in your stomach

Light-headedness or dizziness

Pins and needles

Restlessness or inability to sit still

Headaches, backache and other aches and pains

Shortness of breath

A fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat

Sweating or feeling hot

Sleeping problems

Grinding your teeth, especially at night

Nausea

Needing the toilet more or less often

Changes in your sex drive

Panic attacks

Fatigue

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

Phobias

Social anxiety disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) –

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) –

intrusive and distressing thoughts, images or compulsive urges repeatedly enter the mind, and we feel driven to perform individual acts or mental routines as we seek calm.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) –

Perinatal anxiety or perinatal OCD –

Anxiety and mental health comorbidity

Comorbidity of mental and physical diseases

The admission of psychiatrists’ reluctance to deal with physical illnesses in patients whom they treat for a mental illness is most clearly demonstrated in the creation of a special subdiscipline–liaison psychiatry.

Health anxiety

Self-help strategies to prevent anxiety — Taking back control.

Possibly, our anxiety stems from a negative relationship or a problem at work. Once you identify the cause, make a plan to overcome the threat.

Don’t mistake self-compassion for self-indulgence — Create self-serving positive thoughts that soothe or eliminate anxiety at the moment. Create positive relationships, and reduce negatives ones; build proper self-care into your daily routine.and establish simple, fun strategies that calm.

Egocentric -

Disruptions and the anxious mind — Individuals who have an anxiety disorder are often rigid in their daily routines since the fear of the unknown is often a trigger for their anxiety. When something disrupts their daily routine, it is not uncommon for the individual to not know how to cope with the change and, as a result, lash out in anger.

Mindfulness -

Anxiety and anger -

Neuropsychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz of the University of California studied and treated a group of OCD sufferers, who show unusually high fear reactions. A Buddhist, Schwartz was intrigued by therapeutic mindfulness.

Working with patients with moderate to severe OCD, Schwartz showed them scans of their brains overreacting. He taught them to use mindfulness to focus on the idea that their compulsions were misfiring brain circuitry; they didn’t need to act and were witnessing the arrival of obsessive thought. Out of 18 patients, 12 stopped their OCD behaviour.

Schwartz found that their brains had changed structurally and concluded that the mind that observes itself changes itself.

Beware perfectionism -

Be creative -

Art therapy is a simple way to externalise your anxiety and observe it instead of feeling controlled by it.

Talking therapy (CBT) -

Recently published in The Lancet that was talking therapy with someone with no vested interest can be a more successful treatment than prescription drugs, and have longer-lasting effects.

Although opening up to loved ones can ease the burden of isolation, it can be useful to talk to someone who won’t judge you, or feels judged.

Talking therapy can provide a safe space to uncover a discourse around your anxiety, even though it might sometimes seem overwhelming or scary to start. Question your family doctor what they recommend and whether they can put you on a waiting list to see a psychotherapist or counsellor.

Relationships -

When friends, family or colleagues push back, you may feel misunderstood and unsupported, so you withdraw and can become stuck in a destructive pattern. The irony is that relationships are a crucial part of your life and, when you’re in a place of calm,

you are kind, considerate and emotionally intelligent.

Resist the urge to withdraw or to use conflict and perceived hurts as a distraction from your underlying anxiety. It would help if you keep your connections, and you need them more than ever to grow stronger and recover.

You may not be emotionally ready to make space in your turbulent world for anyone else’s problems at this particular time, but actually listening may serve as an antidote for your specific anxiety, not at least by temporarily suppressing your overthinking mind.

Anxiety In Kids And Teens

Getting a handle on anxiety during childhood is important. Research has shown that children and teens with untreated anxiety disorders are at higher risk of poor performance in school, social avoidance, and substance use, as well as comorbidities including eating disorders and ADHD. Therapy, medication in some cases, and familial support can help kids manage their anxiety, learn coping mechanisms early on, and lead healthy lives.